Pasture Moves During Lambing

During lambing the moves are less frequent because they are more time consuming to accomplish. Ewes who have just lambed or who are about to lamb do not want to move. Ewes will stay at their lambing site for several hours. Rather than make them move I let the ewes who have not lambed yet or who have older lambs and are willing to move, drift forward. They are usually eager to go because it means new greens.

I try to organize the lambing paddocks and rotations so that all paddocks are adjacent. When the paddocks are adjacent, I leave the gate open, allowing any ewes who decide to move to be able to catch up with the flock, allowing any ewes who left lambs behind in their haste to get to new grass to come back, and allowing the guard dogs a route to those left behind. There is some risk when leaving small groups behind.

Throughout the following day some of the ewes with lambs will make their way over.  By the end of that next day I will move any ewes who have not moved themselves and close to gate. I don’t like waiting much longer than a full day to complete a move because some ewes will return to lamb in the previous paddock and then we start all over.  I also like the flock to be together in the same paddock to lessen the predator risk to those hanging back on their own.

Another method would be to keep the ewes who have not lambed yet, moving further ahead so they are always seperate from those who are lambing. This takes a fair amount of space and the ability to keep everyone protected when they are spread out. Right now I just feel more comfortable having them together.

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